Fireworks were everywhere in Atlanta tonight; before, during, and after the Braves 10-8 win in the 2012 home opener.
Firstly, pardon the long recap, but the Braves home opener was an eventful and successful one, folks. The Braves took an early lead, relinquished that, stormed back to take a large lead, found themselves tied after 7, and then buried K-Rod to ultimately seal a 10-8 win over the Brewers. Randy Wolf continues to struggle against the Atlanta ball club and apparently, Ryan Braun isn't that popular in Atlanta, judging by the reaction of the 52,000 at the Ted.
The Braves got out to an early 1-0 lead after a leadoff walk to Bourn in the bottom of the first. McCann scored the center fielder from first on a two out double off of the right field wall. The Brewers came right back in the next half inning though to take the lead. After a bloop hit into left by Mat Gamel, former Brave, Alex Gonzalez lined a homer that just kept carrying into the seats in left. George Kottaras made it back to back homers for the Brew Crew when he made a poorly located Jurrjens fastball into a souvenir.
The Braves added another run in the bottom of the third, when Freeman scored from second on a Dan Uggla double that caromed off of the left field wall over Ryan Braun's head. The Braves really did their damage in the bottom of the fifth, though. A leadoff triple from Bourn opened the floodgates in the inning against Randy Wolf. What was a standard double for most players, led Chip Caray to say, "Bourn's going to have at least a triple here," and indeed he stood up on his way into the bag. Freddie Freeman worked a good walk that was followed by a high fly ball 3-run shot by Mac into the right field seats to put the Braves out in front 5-3. Uggla singled in the next at bat that was followed by a big time homer for Matt Diaz to put the Bravos up 7-3, which was his first since 2010. It was encouraging to see him crank it out of one of the deepest parts of the park, and flip his bat towards the dugout in excitement. Heyward came around to score on a line drive by Bourn to put the Braves up by five runs.
The Brewers fought back with force, though. In the next half inning, Braun singled into left center to a chorus of boos. After an Aramis Ramirez single, the Brewers executed a good double steal to put two runners in scoring position for Corey Hart. Hart proceed to double off of the yellow border at the top of the left field wall to score both runners. Despite another base hit and hilarious stolen base by Brian McCann, the Braves couldn't muster any scoring in the bottom of the sixth.
Eric O'Flaherty came on to pitch the seventh and wasn't at his best. Three straight base hits by the Brewers to lead off the inning resulted in the lead being cut to just one, and if it weren't for a timely double play ball, Corey Hart's solo shot a few batters later would have put the Brewers up. However, O'Flahery escaped the inning tied at eight runs apiece.
Venters got out of the top of the eighth unscathed and then the Braves came up to face K-Rod in the bottom half. Follwing a Prado single and a Freeman walk, McCann was robbed of a perfect five for five night by Rickie Weeks, though he was able to move the runners over. Dan Uggla stepped to the plate and delivered a HUGE broken bat grounder up the middle with the infielders in to score two and put the Braves up for good. Craig Kimbrel took care of business in the bottom of the ninth by getting a pop out by Gomez, pitching around a Ryan Braun single, inducing a force out, and strkining out Corey Hart to end it with a favorable 10-8 score.